Over two years after lying to a federal task force about his insurance dealings, former Red Bud Mayor Tim Lowry appeared at the federal courthouse in East St. Louis on Friday morning and pled guilty.
The court date was not only Lowry’s initial appearance, but was also listed in court records as his arraignment and “change of plea hearing.” Title III Judge Stephen McGlynn handled the proceedings, where he read out Lowry’s rights and asked him questions to ensure he was willingly and logically making the decision to plead guilty.
After this, McGlynn accepted the plea agreement and said he will be “releasing (Lowry) on his own recognizance.” Lowry will return to the courthouse for a sentencing hearing on Nov. 22. As of now, the defense said they estimate the hearing will be set for 10 a.m.
During Friday’s court proceedings, McGlynn said the sentence recommendation is one year probation, a $1,000 fine and 40 hours of community service. This is a mere recommendation – McGlynn will announce on the November date what – if any – consequences Lowry will face.
Lowry was indicted on July 22 on one count of “false statement to the Federal Southern Illinois Public Corruption Task Force.”
The indictment states that “unbeknownst to the (Columbia) city council or the city manager, the Mayor of the City of Columbia (Kevin Hutchinson) and his corporation B.M.C. Associates, Inc… received referral commissions from the insurance contracts that the City of Columbia placed” through Ackermann Agency, which is Lowry’s former insurance business.
The indictment also states that “as an elected municipal official and a public officer, Tim Lowry was aware that elected public officials are prohibited from being financially interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract, work or business of the municipality” and that Lowry “did willfully and knowingly make, and cause to be made, materially false statements . . . that he did not pay the Mayor of the City of Columbia in reference to the City of Columbia’s ICRMT insurance contract and that the Mayor of the City of Columbia did not receive additional payments as a result.”
Former Columbia Mayor Kevin Hutchinson received a similar sentence for the same charge in June.
As the Republic-Times previously reported, Lowry was initially scheduled to appear in court for arraignment on July 30 before Magistrate Judge Mark Beatty.
Justin Kuehn, one of Lowry’s attorneys, said the change was not atypical in a case such as this where “a defendant knows he will be indicted and is given the opportunity to work out an agreement in advance of being charged.”
For more information on the indictment, visit republictimes.net. The Republic-Times will continue to provide updates as more information arises, including the exact time of Lowry’s sentencing hearing.